simple definition for addiction

A Simple Definition for Addiction and What Causes It

Addiction is a disease that many people go through, whether it is publicly or silently behind closed doors. Although going through it, many of them are subconsciously unaware that they are going through addiction. In contrast, others question whether or not having too much of something makes them an addict, not understanding what the true meaning of addiction is.

Addiction is a chronic disease resulting from repetitive, harmful use of substances or enacting destructive behaviors. Continuing these behaviors is a compulsive act and can lead to endangering consequences.  Many other factors coincide with addiction and what indeed deems an addict and addict.

Read more about the true meaning of addiction and what makes a person an addict, along with what happens within your brain as a person with an addiction.

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What is the True Meaning of Addiction?

The true meaning of addiction is that it is a chronic disease that results from compulsive behavior or substance abuse from a single person that can result in various consequences. However, it is treatable with the right amount of effort and support you can manage the addiction and eventually heal and recover from the addiction altogether.

There are many symptoms or signs that one can exhibit addictive behavior. Read more to learn about what makes a person an addict.

What Makes a Person an Addict?

Many signs can point to someone being an addict. Many of them can be “in your face,” while others can remain subtle until you think back at those moments with this realization. What can make a person an addict can include but does not exclude:

  • Performances of risky behavior despite warnings from those around them. This can be done while they are either sober or under the influence.
  • A state of denial or continued justification for their actions, unapologetically.
  • Priorities lie within their addiction, and their friends and family are secondary of importance.
  • The temptation of the addicting item surrounds them and subsequently gives in.
  • An addicts’ brain will produce effects that will signal for them to continue their addicting behavior, which will subject them to having an addiction due to their vulnerability.
  • They may experience shame because of their actions and are becoming more secretive about their addiction.

There are many other signs, as well, to determine whether you are addicted or not. Read more to learn about how you would know if you are addicted.

How Do You Know You Are Addicted?

There are various signs to know whether you know you are addicted or not.  These are the six most common signs you may be addicted.

  1. Continued Mis-Behavior
  2. Withdrawal Symptoms
  3. Building a Tolerance Towards
  4. Reliance on a Substance
  5. Vulnerable Within Social Settings
  6. Energy & Mood Change

Six Most Common Signs Explained

1. Continued Behavior

You continue to exhibit the same dangerous behavior despite being aware of the consequences. And once you are called out for this behavior, you are either likely to deny or justify your actions because of how good the addicting behavior or substance makes you feel.

2. Withdrawal Symptoms

You experience withdrawal symptoms if you attempt to stop the addicting behavior. If you have used a substance or stopped a harmful action but then attempted to stop, you are likely to feel debilitated and return to it to feel revived again. Substance-related addictions can leave you with physical symptoms if you try to withdraw, whereas action-based activities can become more emotional.

3. Tolerance

If you continue down the path of your addiction, you will eventually form a tolerance. This tolerance of drugs, alcohol, or whatever else you are addicted to can leave you to be able to take larger quantities of that item or “training” your body to become more tolerant to where it can be easier to mask.

4. Reliance

Being overwhelmed is normal, but for some, they rely heavily on their addicting item of choice to remain as stress-free as possible and as a support system. Excessive use, over time, can have the person believing that they have to rely on this addicting item or else they will not be able to function as well as they would like.

5. Vulnerable Within Social Settings

Suppose you are hanging around a bad influence of a crowd. In that case, you are likely to become vulnerable within your social setting to take whatever drug or harmful activity they ask you to do. This is called peer pressure. Consistent peer pressure, such as this, can lead to a shift in your priorities.

6. Energy and Mood Change

Your energy and mood are subjected to change the more your addiction progresses. You are likely to become extremely tired or energetic, coinciding with extreme mood changes such as anger, sadness and depression, or overtly happy. Your energy and, particularly, your mood changes can affect your relationships with others.

Addiction is a vast spectrum. Over time, you can become addicted to various things, given your circumstances, so let’s read more to learn about the different things you can become addicted to.

What Can You Be Addicted To?

An addiction to something can involve behavioral habits and substance use addictions. Some everyday actions can include:

  • Alcohol
  • Cocaine, heroin, or any other prescription/non-prescribed medications.
  • Sex and pornography.
  • Caffeine
  • Exercising
  • Shopping

Essentially, practically anything you can think of can become an addiction if used or done compulsively and can do many things to the brain if the person is addicted. Read more to learn about what happens in the brain if someone has an addiction.

What is Happening in the Brain of an Addicted Person?

For many people, when we are doing or eating something that we enjoy, our brain will register this kind of pleasure by releasing dopamine, signaling to the brain that whatever you are doing is enjoyable to you. However, an addicted person’s brain is different from one who is not addicted.

Yes, an addicted person’s brain will be subjected to the same pleasurable signals the brain after the release of dopamine, but for an addicted person, the brain can likely become tricked. They are misusing a substance or behaviors more than one should trick the brain into thinking that what the person is doing is good, and they do not have to stop or slow down.

For example, if someone is addicted to drugs, the dopamine released to the brain will release 2 to 10 times the amount than usual and at a quicker rate. And, like any other addiction, you are enjoying it less but are becoming more reliant on the thing of choice, which then develops into an addiction and makes it difficult to recover from it.

However, there is a likely chance of recovering from addiction through support and hard work and talking to someone.

Read more to learn whether and with whom you could talk if you suffer from an addiction.

Can I Talk to Someone if I’m Suffering From Addiction?

Yes, you definitely can speak to someone if you are suffering from addiction. Online counseling is a convenient method of talking to a licensed professional therapist. Better Help is an online counseling service that is affordable and provides you with private therapy either through text or video chat, whichever is the most convenient for you.


So, if you want to talk to someone about your addiction and take steps to treat it, then Better Help and learning more about the Y12SR workshop with yoga alliance is a great way to do just that. And while reading this, you have also learned about addiction, different types of addictions, and what can happen to the brain if a person becomes addicted.